Oakshott Challenge: Scandinavian Animal Friends
Posted on December 12 2018
Hello there! I am so excited to introduce my new menagerie, Scandinavian Animal Friends! These guys were made for the Oakshott Scandinavian Challenge from Sew Mama Sew. Oh Sew Mama Sew, thank you for the opportunity to neglect my kids and all my other work. What a great time I had with these amazing Oakshott cottons!
The Oakshott Scandinavia line colors are soft, but clean and distinct. Calming, yet they hold their own. If you have seen any of my other work then you will know that these more subtle colors are not the usual ones I tend to gravitate towards-I favor the bold and rich. This is one of the many reasons I was anxious to try this challenge. Out of my comfort zone and into a new range of colors! I also love clean Scandinavian design and was hoping to stretch my style.
I knew I wanted to create some kind of softie, so I decided to make animals that are found in Scandinavia. After a bit of research, I came up with 8 animals, one for each Oakshott Scandinavia color.
Eight does make for a nice collection, don’t you think? And they were perfect for the fat quarter cuts provided. So here they are, starting with Brown Bear, who seems to be the soft spoken ringleader of this wild crew. For reference, Brown Bear is 17 “ from tips of toes to tips of ears:
The gentle Brown Bear in Stockholm:
The ever agreeable Lynx in Helsinki:
The slightly perplexed Mountain Hare in Copenhagen (chartreuse nose, folks!):
The charming yet always distracted Arctic Blue Fox in Malmo:
The sweet Red Squirrel in Oslo:
The stern but benevolent Snowy Owl in Bergen:
The lovingly clueless Atlantic Salmon in Tromso:>
The forward thinking White Throated Dipper in Uppsala:
I was aiming for a streamlined silhouette with each animal to highlight the Oakshott and reflect a Scandinavian style. The details are all added with embroidery stitches. I usually embroider all features after a doll or animal has been put together, but this time I did most of the stitching beforehand. Something new! The only embroidery I did after was where the stitching fell over or on a seam:
I also tried out some new to me embroidery stitches, such as the filled running stitch on Atlantic Salmon, the feather stitch on Red Squirrel, seed stitch on Lynx, and cross stitch on Brown Bear. For Brown Bear’s nose I wove the thread so it floats on top of the fabric. Is there a name for that? Anyway, Lynx has a different kind of woven nose with tacking stitches at each intersection. There may be a name for that also but I don’t know.
The only other details are the buttons to attach the wings onto White Throated Dipper. I found 2 lovely fabric covered minis in my button stash. Perfect, I think.
Oakshott has a lovely hand, not heavy but remarkably sturdy and was great to embroider on. I stuffed these guys very firmly and the Oakshott was a trooper!
Another exciting discovery with this project came thanks to Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World and the Sew Mama Sew 6 weeks of Softies. Soft and Stable! What a find! I used it for every appendage (except the Snowy Owl feathers). From wings to tails to ears it works great to create soft but structured parts. Definitely a keeper!
A Scandinavian Animal Friends pattern, you say? Well, this just might possibly become a pattern for Bo Twal at some point. Anyone interested?
Be sure to check out the other challengers and their fabulous projects made from Oakshott Scandinavia:
Jessica Skultety from Quilty Habit
Jennifer Fullerton from Never Just Jennifer
Mary Kolb from Mary on Lake Pulaski
Casey York from The Studiolo
Caitlin Topham from Salty Oat